THE commercial photographer is in the presence of wonderful possibilities. Skillful use of the camera places him in a position from which he may behold opportunities that are practically without limit. In advertising, the tendency becomes stronger daily to "say it with pictures."

A few years ago photographic illustrations were seldom used in advertising. Today they add to the attractiveness of magazine, newspaper and car card advertising, and their use is increasing widely and rapidly.

In an interesting survey of the field that lies before the commercial photographer, George M. Winemiller, of Winemiller & Miller, New York, says:

"It was while I was serving in the capacity of art director of one of the largest advertising agencies in the country that I became convinced of the superiority of the camera for making advertising illustrations. I came in contact with hundreds of manufacturers or sales agents whose merchandise was to be pictured for advertisements in local and national campaigns.

"A faithful reproduction of the product was invariably the first demand.

"While the practical advertiser aims always at the most advantageous display of his goods, he does not want to deceive the buying public by misrepresenting an article for which he hopes to establish a permanent market.

"In producing a drawing of a certain object for an illustration, each of half a dozen persons concerned will have a different mental picture of the result.

"In an attempt to meet the universal request for fidelity to the merchandise and for speed in producing illustrations, we began to use the camera, and for years we made every illustration by photography when it was possible to do so.

"Estimated conservatively, 90 per cent of our photographic illustrations were satisfactory to our clients, because they were faithful to the subject matter of the advertisement.

"A certain skepticism on the part of many of our advertisers had to be overcome, because at the time of which I speak, about fifteen years ago, the employment of artistic photography in advertising was in the nature of an innovation. Many of our clients were inclined to hold in mind the old time stereotyped photograph without imagination or interpretative quality.

"Being committed to the use of the camera as a means for the illustration of merchandise, and realizing that every art director in the country was experiencing difficulties identical with my own, I determined upon establishing a service to specialize in the new field.

Photograph By Winemiller & Miller, Inc., New York.

Photograph By Winemiller & Miller, Inc., New York. This picture was made by using an incandescent bulb which was placed under the handkerchiefs for strong illumination, concealing the wire behind the chest.

A small spot light was thrown on the right-hand part of the subject.

"The firm of Winemiller and Miller, Inc. was organized. In assembling our staff, we were careful to get operators and artists with experience and training in advertising and a knowledge of its special needs. We prepared to meet every demand, from a convincing and dramatic scene of firemen rescuing patients from a burning hospital (advertising some device for fire protection) to the most advantageous display of a box of hairpins.

"It is always necessary when making a photograph for reproduction, to ascertain the printing conditions under which it is to be used.

"In a publication where a cheap quality of paper is used, we recommend a picture of strong contrasts. Soft focus should be attempted only in publications and booklets that are printed on a fine coated stock. This is a point upon which we have conducted an educational campaign. Many advertisers who lacked experience with photography had come to grief owing to their ignorance of printing conditions.

"Most buyers of advertising art are keen on detail relating to settings and to the accessories and properties a picture may require. The successful advertising photographer must be equipped to do all the research work necessary in planning an illustration that demands positive atmosphere or nicety of discrimination in the choice of its requirements. This may involve visits to libraries and museums, especially in the production of period pictures, foreign scenes, or any setting of an unusual nature.

"An agency handling a paint account may have copy which calls for an illustration showing a picture of an old, rusty spout or leader which has crumbled for lack of paint. Such a service as we have instituted locates as well as photographs the rusty spout under the exact conditions which the illustration requires.

"Not all of our commissions, however, are so easy to execute. Sometime ago we were asked to secure the photograph of an old, toothless man, to show neglect of the teeth in early years, and to call to mind the prophylactic value of a certain dentifrice which obviously was not one of his toilet accessories. With the exception of two or three lovely infants, we had no toothless models on our register, and to discover whether any of our other models were leading a double dental life was a matter beyond the combined tact and diplomacy of the organization.

"I made a trip to Madison Square Park and spent a morning on the benches. I lunched in a cafeteria near by, where I am sure I must have attracted unpleasant attention by peering into the mouth of every man over fifty. Back to the park again, and at last I spied my character. Just what we wanted. Threadbare, but neat, a mild, lined face, clean shaven. In a couple of hours I had made the old gentleman, who was as deaf as a post, understand what we wanted. We had him in the. studio next morning. 'That was service!

"Obtaining models is one of our most difficult problems. We aim to keep a register showing a selection of models of both sexes and all ages and types, but the professional model is not a fixed body, "We are often compelled to approach types in stores, offices and even on the streets to recruit our list. Some are flattered, some become indignant, a few sense the business aspect of the matter at once, but, on the whole, it is a problem to be handled with discrimination and judgment. In emergency cases, friends have loaned us their personalities in an art for art's sake spirit, but this doesn't often occur twice in the same place.